NEW FEATURES in Kurzweil on the Web -- working in VitalSource, editing through Underlying Text & multiple format support
This month Kurzweil for the Web added several new features to make it easier to work with online textbooks in general and VitalSource in particular.
A lot of Canadian college and university students are increasingly using textbooks online. VitalSource has become the go-to source for e-versions of textbooks representing more than a thousand publishers, integrating with Learning Management Systems in over 7000 institutions.
Kurzweil’s for Web Browsers offers editing underlying text, along with notetaking, highlighting and other key study features. And now Kurzweil Read the Web, the web extension, can be used with ePub books within the VitalSource Bookshelf.
This new development also means that Edit Underlying Text, an essential function for post-secondary students is now possible on Chromebooks, too.
It’s worth noting that Kurzweil’s Read the Web feature is only available with the Kurzweil Web Subscription. However the Unlimited Web License for an entire college, university or other organization (school, school district) is only $8,400/year regardless of the size of the institution. The Kurzweil Web Subscription delivers access to any of your students, professors and support staff plus they can install the desktop or iPad version at no extra cost.
Working in VitalSource
You can start using this feature by simply logging into your VitalSource Bookshelf at https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com via either Firefox or Chrome (make sure you are signed into your Kurzweil 3000 Read the Web extension).
Open an eTextbook available in your library, pick where you would like to start reading and click the Read button on your extension panel.
Edit underlying text and correct reading
Find the Underlying Text button on the top right of the screen.
Similar to the tool available within the Kurzweil 3000 desktop app, Underlying text button fixes OCR mistakes where the software mis-recognizes a word because of the font, text/page colouring or the poor quality of the original image, and where the text-to-speech is mispronouncing a word. As students with reading challenges move-up the academic ladder, these challenges become more common and critical.
For example, in the image above the program doesn’t recognize that the word “powerful” has been hyphenated due to a line break.
Click on the word you would like to edit and type in the correct pronunciation in the box at the bottom.
When you are finished, click the button again to save the changes.
Some other common causes of incorrect pronunciation that post-secondary students might see include numbers in superscript format, special characters and symbols, abbreviations, and foreign words.
In addition, all the vital note taking features that are essential to studying, or researching and writing papers are fully available on the web version and within the VitalSource Bookshelf including highlighting, notes and more.
You can also download the file to your computer in a range of formats: Word Document, PDF and text. You can find this option by going into the Tools dropdown, and under Download Format.
- Aigerim Malataeva